John Lennon Term Paper

This essay has a total of 683 words and 4 pages.

John Lennon

John Lennon

Lennon was born in 1940 during the Nazi bombing of Britain and given the middle name
Winston, after Prime Minister Churchill. Knowing firsthand the horror of a world at war
and living through the era of Vietnam's senseless carnage as well, Lennon came to embrace
and embody pacifism via such classics of the Beatles era as "All You Need Is Love" and
"Strawberry Fields Forever." Yet he also had a countervailing dark side that found
expression in pained outcries that dated as far back as "Help." This unvarnished aspect of
the Lennon persona reached a fevered pitch with the drug-withdrawal blues of "Cold
Turkey," a 1969 single released under the name Plastic Ono Band.

Although Lennon was a complicated man, he chose at this juncture to simplify his art in
order to figure out his life, erasing the boundaries between the two. As he explained it,
he started trying "to shave off all imagery, pretensions of poetry, illusions of
grandeur...Just say what it is, simple English, make it rhyme and put a backbeat on it,
and express yourself as simply [and] straightforwardly as possible." His most fully
realized statement, as a solo artist was 1970's John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band. Lennon's
first solo album, it followed several avant-garde sound collages recorded toward the end
of the Beatles era with his wife and collaborator, Yoko Ono. The raw, confessional nature
of Plastic Ono Band reflected the primal-scream therapy that Lennon and Ono had been
undergoing with psychologist Arthur Janov.

There were, in fact, numerous facets to Lennon's character captured in the ongoing diary
of his life in song. Many of his post-Beatles compositions - "Imagine," "Mind Games,"
"Instant Karma," and "Give Peace a Chance" - have rightfully become anthems, flaunting
tough-minded realism, cosmic epiphany, hard-won idealism and visionary utopianism in equal
measure. For all of the unvarnished genius of Lennon's recordings, however, much of what
lingers in the public memory goes beyond musical legacy. Rather, it has to do with leading
by example. The relationship between John and Yoko endured challenges from within and
without to became one of the most touching and celebrated of 20th-century romances. They
were gallantly foolish in undertaking performance art pieces - bed-ins, happenings,
full-page ads declaring "War Is Over!" - to spread their message of peace. During the
early Seventies Lennon fought the U.S. government to avoid deportation - a campaign of
harassment by Nixon-era conservatives that was overturned by the courts in 1975 - and came
to love his adopted city of New York.

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